Blaine business matches college students’ skills, business’ project needs
Leah Kodner, Library Specialist from the James J. Hill Center, interviews Entrepreneur and 1 Million Cup presenter, Amanda Carlson on her Company Rookiework.
As seen in the Pioneer Press, September 25, 2016
Small businesses by definition have very few employees, sometimes not enough to perform all the tasks that need performing. These businesses also can lack the funds to hire consultants to perform these tasks.
College students, on the other hand, have valuable skills but not enough experience on their résumés to be hired for jobs that use those skills. Amanda Carlson and Thomas Storfjord created Rookiework to solve both problems, connecting the talented (and inexpensive) students seeking experience with the small businesses in need of help.
Name of company: Rookiework
Business Start Date: February 2016
Number of Employees: Two partners, Amanda Carlson and Thomas Storfjord
Number of Customers: Approximately 75
Name: Amanda Carlson
City you live in: Blaine
City of birth: Rochester
High school attended: Eveleth-Gilbert High School in Eveleth, Minn.
College attended: Hibbing Community College in Hibbing, Minn.
Q. What led to this point?
A. I am originally a small town girl from the Iron Range in northern Minnesota. I have always enjoyed helping others and that passion flourished within the business world. I learned that I could help others while working at our two family businesses up north. After several career changes and moving to the Twin Cities with my husband, I became the business developer for Rookiework. READ MORE
You can imagine the vast array of questions a resource library gets asked in one day. In my brief time sitting at the JJ Hill Centers front desk on a Wednesday afternoon I was asked, “Can I look up every address I ever lived at?” and “Do you have a book that would show me where to find all the award emblems that can be given to student in school?” Our reference librarians can almost always find an answer and if not, they can point you in the right direction. We are a business reference library and we cover every business imaginable, which leaves us with a vast database of facts and details that people quickly discover can connect them to more information than they may have thought.
But, is there ever a question that is too off the chart to answer? In short, no. In December 2014 the Gothamist reported on a discovery found at the New York City Library. A reference librarian was cleaning house and found a large box of old reference questions from the 1940s and 50s. Questions varied from “What is a life span of an eyelash?” to “What percentage of bathtubs in the world are in the US?” to “Where can I rent a beagle for hunting?” Amazingly enough the system back then was the same as today and a reference librarian called them back with an answer. There were of course question where answers could not be found, but the fact that people asked gives a wonderful nod to the trusted resource a reference library held then and still does today.
Here at the Hill we believe there are no stupid questions. So, if you can’t find it when you search online and you want to dig deeper, contact us. As the esteemed and highly respected Carl Sagan once said “There are naive questions, tedious questions, ill-phrased questions, questions put after inadequate self-criticism. But every questions is a cry to understand the world.” Come learn with us!
The Hill known for connecting business, entrepreneurs, and community welcomes Danika LeMay, Lily Shaw and Maggie Smith to round off the team that will drive the mission and build the brand.
The James J. Hill Center is pleased to announce the addition of three new members of the Hill team that will support Executive Director Tamara Prato. The existing staff has been joined by (pictured left to right) Danika LaMay, Director of Reference Services; Lily Shaw, Director of Marketing; and Maggie Smith, Community Engagement Specialist.
“With the support of this incredible team I will have the ability to execute my vision to provide the community with unique entrepreneurial programming, cultural experiences and access to a dynamic Reference Library, which in turn will support the growth and economic development of the region” states Tamara Prato.
Danika LaMay most recently worked as Course Reserve Coordinator at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Libraries, where she helped instructors make course materials easily accessible to their students and had the opportunity to collaborate on innovative cross-unit and cross-campus projects. Danika is excited to bring her dedication to the user experience and make a positive difference.
Lily Shaw joins the team from Twin Cities Diversity in Practice where she oversaw the communications and programming of high quality diversity and inclusion initiatives for leading Twin Cities Legal Employers. Lily is excited to collaborate with her team and promote invaluable and unique opportunities for the community.
Maggie Smith spent the past 3 years working as the marketing and communications manager for the local health non-profit Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota. As the community engagement specialist for the James J. Hill Center, she is excited to work with the community to spread the word and advance the mission of the organization.
About the James J. Hill Center – Opened in 1921, the James J. Hill Center supports the legacy of one of America’s greatest entrepreneurs. Today, the Hill is focused on supporting business, entrepreneurship, and community with the goal to build sustainable and lasting relationships that enable economic prosperity by providing services, programming, and cultural events. Learn more at jjhill.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.